about reality…

March 28, 2013

in a world of ones and zeros….

Who knew? Big Brother may turn out to be our own children! It is they, after all, who have grown up in the age of technology. They live, learn, love, work and play in a “Normal” made up of ones and zeros. It is a dimension where, regardless of skill and understanding, their elders are mere tourists for the most part.

We opened our eyes upon a non-digital universe. We have lived, learned, loved, worked in and played in a physical environment. That is the “Normal” for most of us, perhaps to some degree, even those who invented and created the cyber universe in the first place. As with those who learn secondary languages fluently, it’s about more than just a residual accent, it’s about the culture as well.

I am uncomfortable with what appears to me as an erosion or failure of boundaries, but what in fact is most likely a redefinition of them. I don’t like the interconnectedness of everything that I feel is mandated and initiated on my behalf by Google and others, with or without my knowledge and consent, by the very elementary act of turning on a computer or some mobile communication device. Cameras watch streets, doorways, and public buildings. Unknown people in unknown locations accumulate detailed digital records of where people go and what they do, their wealth and what the do with it, and statisticians analyze the data to establish probability scales to predict what people will or will not do. Non-existent people decide what I should like to read, eat, wear, or do with my spare time, all on the basis of keystrokes and data analysis. The Digital Generation neither minds this near-BORG existence nor seems to understand why anyone would object to it.

Thus, while it was the elder generation that conceived of the fictional Big Brother of George Orwell’s 1984, our amused relief when that year came and went was premature. It was left for our children to make it a reality.


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